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Begum Qudsia Zaidi was a writer, social worker, and theatre practitioner, and is best remembered for her pioneering role in establishing the Hindustani Theatre in Delhi in the 1950s.

Qudsia Zaidi was born Umt-ul-qudoos Abdullah, on 23rd December 1914 in Delhi. She has written and translated a number of books for children and even today “Chacha Chakkan ke Draamae”, is one of her most loved and performed series of plays for children.

In 1954 she met Habib Tanvir, who is today remembered as the founder of Naya Theatre. Together, they established the Hindustani Theatre. In 1957-8 Hindustani Theatre went on to become one of the first urban professional theatre companies of independent India. Its debut production was a Hindi-Urdu version of Kalidasa’s Shakuntala, followed by Shudraka’sMrichakatika as Mitti Ki Gadi.

Not only did Qudsia write and translate a number of plays in Urdu, but also she was one of the first people to translate and stage Bertolt Brecht’s works in India.

Join us at mehfil as we discuss the vast oeuvre of this multifaceted lady whose works have stood the test of time.


Date: 13.01.15

Time: 7pm

Place: Prithvi